Heart care should begin in your youth and continue throughout your lifetime. Many people, however, neglect heart health until they reach their senior years. Fortunately, it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes that will improve the health of your heart. Understanding how the heart works will give you a greater incentive to live a heart-healthy life as you age.
Your heart has an important job in keeping your body running. It pumps blood through your circulatory system to nourish organs and tissues in the body. The right side of your heart sends blood to the lungs where it fills up with oxygen. The left side pumps this oxygen-filled blood through your arteries to nourish bodily organs and remove excess waste.
Aging can alter the composition of blood vessels and arteries, restricting the flow of blood to the body. With age, arteries may become stiff and hard or develop plaque, hindering blood from flowing freely to and from the heart. This may cause your heart to pump harder, raising your heart rate or blood pressure. Over time, restricted blood flow can weaken the heart, leading to heart disease.
You may not notice symptoms of heart disease in the early stages, giving the impression that nothing is wrong. By getting regular screenings and exams, you can ensure your heart is in good health. If you start experiencing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, cold sweats, confusion, headaches or lightheadedness without any apparent cause, tell your doctor as these could be warning signs of heart disease.
Caring for Your Heart
Although some heart problems are hereditary, many are caused due to poor healthcare. A healthy lifestyle will improve your heart health so you can enjoy your senior years to the full. It’s never too late to adopt healthy habits that can enhance your quality of life. Regular exercise, socialization, healthy diet and staying connected with your community can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart problems.
Tips for Preventing Heart Disease
Here are a few healthy living tips that can help keep heart disease at bay:
Exercise regularly. Staying active will keep you healthier as you grow older. Regular exercise reduces stress, strengthens muscles, enhances mobility and keeps off excess weight. Choose activities you enjoy either alone or with friends so that you will be inspired to keep up with your exercise regimen.
Eat healthily. A heart-healthy diet consisting of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and foods rich in fiber will also improve your health in your senior years. Keep in mind that metabolism slows down as you get older, so try to maintain a balanced diet that helps you stay at a good weight level.
Stop smoking. A smoke-free lifestyle greatly reduces your risks of heart disease.
If you need assistance to live a safe and active lifestyle as a senior, call us at Sunny Days In-Home Care at 724-260-5186. With the help of our professional in-home senior care caregivers, you can get more from your retirement years.